When looking to kick-start a new health regime we are often invited to examine our diet and our levels of exercise. However, should we focus more on one that the other and if so which? The answer is relatively simple, you need to address both.
However, sudden and impulsive changes to both at the same time are not recommended. Instead, you need to adapt the changes to suit you, and your lifestyle as well as your personal goals – do you want to lose weight, or drop a dress size, or do you want to run a marathon. Your goals are crucial factors in any change, and they should be carefully considered by you in detail prior to any sudden change. Would you run a marathon before you had ever tried running a mile? Would you subscribe to a full gym membership before trying a gym day pass or flexible gym membership? Hopefully you would answer no to these questions. Why then would you suddenly change your diet and exercise routine at the same time? This would feel almost like punishment, not inspirational. So as we look here at what you can do, remember that any positive steps are steps in the right direction, and lifestyle is a journey not a destination.
Which of these do you think is easier? Cutting 500 calories from your diet, or burning 500 calories at the gym? Little changes in your diet, monitoring what you eat and actively counting calories through Apps etc. will demonstrate ways to cut down. Those lattes or biscuits with a cup of tea, they add up! To burn that many calories would mean a proper slog at the gym. Diet is crucial to weight loss, and exercise is crucial to keeping that weight off. So watch what you eat, and enjoy your workout, and you will soon see the benefits.
It is a little strange that after a tough workout we feel more energised, “full of beans” as the endorphins rush around our body. This is a true benefit of exercise. But a healthy diet incorporating slow release carbohydrates can keep us feeling full and fuelled for longer periods throughout the day.
Physical exercise is essential to a healthy heart, especially where it incorporates some strength training as part of the regime. Some have a daily steps target of 10,000, which equates to about 5 miles of walking. Remember walking is exercise, and walking briskly even better exercise. So moving more and sitting less is a great way to a happy heart and indeed mind. Combined with a diet low in saturated fats and processed foods will also serve to aid the health of your most important muscle and organ.
Solutions to all problems are seldom ever one dimensional. Do not neglect exercise simply to focus on diet nor vice versa. What is needed is a plan, a set of goals and targets, and thereafter a commitment. Remember that commitment is to yourself, and once you have made the decision to change, work hard at sticking to it. The rewards will be numerous and the benefits obvious. Diet and exercise are parts of a two-piece jigsaw, that when combined properly produce a fabulous picture.